Before I get to the fun stuff, there’s a common misconception that I need to clear up right away. During my time spent working as an aesthetician and wedding makeup artist for more than five years, I noticed one recurring trend among my clients that never failed to surprise me: Women treated their beautifully rounded faces like a curse, instead of the blessing they truly are.
Just as we are all working so hard to embrace our natural body shape, the face shape you were born with deserves the same kind of love. For all the hourglasses, pears, rulers and full-figured bodies out there, we have a vast array of unique and distinct face shapes to go right along with them. Alongside face shapes like the heart, diamond, rectangle and oval, the lovely round face has a special symmetry that is all its own.
And just like dressing for your body type, putting on makeup is all about working with your face shape and playing up your best features. Here’s how to put your best (round) face forward any day of the week:
1. Start with the framework
The eyes are the windows into the soul, and the eyebrows are made to frame those windows — especially for women with round faces. “Focus on the arch of the brow to bring some length to the face,” Vanessa Eckels, Senior Makeup Artist at Hourglass Abbot Kinney, advises. “I use a brow sculpting pencil to help emphasize — not overdraw — the natural arch of the brow.”
Sculpting the arch can be a game-changer, though Jennifer Trotter of Lip Service Makeup, pro makeup artist and beauty expert, adds, “Do not, I repeat, do not shape your brows into a rounded, arch shape! The combo of this brow shape with a round face is unflattering, so make sure you’re emphasizing your arch to create lift.”
2. Focus on your favorite feature
It’s perfectly OK to be a little vain. Do you love your lips? Were you born with naturally gorgeous baby blues or deep browns to die for? Whatever your preferred feature may be, giving it a little extra attention can help to balance a round face while enhancing your entire look. Try an unexpected shade of eye shadow or a new eye makeup tutorial (with a few false lashes for volume) or keep the eyes light and draw attention to the bottom of your face with a bright lip color that flatters your skin tone.
More: DIY Makeup Remover
3. Wing it
This one is quick and easy and works well for all round-faced beauties. After applying your regular eye makeup, go bold with a winged or cat-eye look. The deep curve of the dark, winged eyeliner is naturally slimming above fuller cheeks. Not only is a cat-eye for day or night pretty damn sexy, but it also balances the softer features of a round face.
4. Play with your angles
To put on the finishing touches after you’ve put on your face, you only need two tools in your makeup box, according to Eckels. She recommends using a highlighting powder and a bronzer to sculpt and shade, balancing a rounder face with full features. “Apply a highlighting powder down the bridge of the nose, at the center of the forehead and just a touch on the chin to add length to a round face.” She adds, “To create the illusion of a more sculpted face, I sweep bronzer along the temples, in the hollows of the cheeks and along the jawline.”
But before you snap that Instagram-worthy selfie, Trotter recommends taking a second — and more objective — look. She cautions, “Yes, you can use contour to ‘carve out’ your features a bit, but don’t go overboard. Few makeup tricks look as awful as poorly applied contour. Blend well!”
5. Add gloss
No matter what color of lipstick you choose (whether you are playing up your eyes or your lips), it helps to remember this best-kept, round-faced secret: Luscious lips are great for elongating. If you’ve chosen a lipstick in a lighter shade, add some gloss or sheen to attract the eye. Darker lipstick in a bright red or deep berry will bring the focus to the bottom of the face so that it naturally appears longer, and often, slimmer.
6. Don’t forget the cheeks
As I’ve seen firsthand with many clients, women with round faces often shy away from bolder blush colors for fear that their cheeks will dominate their face. Not so, says Trotter, who recommends a dusting of blush for all round-faced women, as long as it is carefully applied in the right place.
“Many girls with round faces are unsure of how and where to apply blush, so they skip it — you need the color to warm your complexion and visually break up the roundness in your cheeks. Blush applied properly can also visually lift and slim the face… bonus! Blush should be in a modified teardrop shape that starts at the apex of your cheekbone and blends up and out toward your temples. Be sure not to get blush too close to your nose or any lower than your cheekbone. Both will drag your face down and emphasize roundness,” Trotter says.
Updated on 4/7/2016